Carson Clarifies Remarks on Electing Muslim President: I Would If They Place Constitution First

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Republican presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson clarified remarks made over the weekend about whether or not he would support the election of a Muslim president, stating that if the candidate placed the U.S. Constitution over his religion, he would be willing to back them.

Carson initially drew criticism from some over his initial comments, which were made Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” he stated.

Carson had been asked by host Chuck Todd whether religion plays a factor in electing the nation’s leader.

“It depends on what that faith is,” he replied. “If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then, of course, it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.”

Todd then asked Carson whether he believes Islam is consistent with the Constitution.

“No, I don’t,” Carson responded. “I do not.”

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However, he stated that he is more lenient when it comes to Muslims holding a position in Congress.

“Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just like it depends on what anybody else is,” Carson explained. “If there’s somebody who is of any faith but they say things and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them.”

But on Monday, several of Carson’s Republican presidential co-runners criticized his comments, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

“I don’t believe anybody should be disqualified from the presidency because of their denomination or because of their faith,” Rubio stated.

“I don’t think religion should be a criteria for being president,” Bush concurred. “I just don’t think that we should be breaking ourselves up in our disparate parts. It’s just not something I’d adhere to, and frankly I don’t think it’s very productive for the conversation.”

On Monday, Carson took to Facebook to express frustration.

“Those Republicans that take issue with my position are amazing,” he wrote. “Under Islamic Law, homosexuals—men and women alike—must be killed. Women must be subservient. And people following other religions must be killed. I know that there are many peaceful Muslims who do not adhere to these beliefs. But until these tenants are fully renounced … I cannot advocate any Muslim candidate for president.”

Carson also further provided clarification to reporters Monday night and Tuesday, stating that if a Muslim places the Constitution above their religion and is willing to conform to the American way of life, he would be supportive of their election.

“We don’t put people at the head of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the Constitution,” he stated. “If you’re a Christian and you’re running for president and you want to make this [country] into a theocracy, I’m not going to support you. I’m not going to advocate you being the president.”

“Now, if someone has a Muslim background, and they’re willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then of course they will be considered infidels and heretics, but at least I would then be quite willing to support them,” Carson explained.

“I don’t care what religion or faith someone belongs to. If they’re willing to subjugate that to the American way and to our Constitution, then I have no problem with that,” he said.

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  • FoJC_Forever

    Politicians always waffle and waiver. Muslims who actually practice their religion are not good for any nation. Carson is an appeaser, not a leader.

    • Josey

      I’m beginning to think all politicians are appeasers in one form or another and if they don’t start out that way they end up that way to please their masters at the top or they are taken out. No Muslim would follow the U.S. constitution, it goes against their Koran.

      • FoJC_Forever

        I believe most are, and those who won’t play the political and social “games” are marginalized and thwarted.

        Islam is a pagan religion which only takes people captive, as does all other pagan religions. Fake Christianity is the worst, however. Fake Christianity is the one Satan specializes in promoting and propagating in the earth.

  • Rebecca

    Given islam’s evil ideology, I would agree with Carson’s original comment.
    They hate us. Other religions don’t hate us.
    It’s amazing that 9/11 has not made more of an impact on our attitude toward islam.
    Take a look at how it has changed Europe. Here in some cities there are major populations of muslims. That is scary, given the religion they follow hates the infidels and hates the west.
    Why are people tolerating this evil? Mainly it is fear that hinders them from standing up.
    Now days if you don’t accept everything, then you are seen as intolerant, judgmental, etc.
    They bank on that to give them a further foothold.
    You know they will kill you given the right opportunity. You are an infidel to them and their book teaches them to eventually lie, to destroy and to kill those who don’t bow to their allah / mohammed.
    If we let an admitted muslim in the White House, you might as well count your days you have remaining.
    Sadly there are some admitted muslims in office here and there in the U.S.
    What’s stopping them from getting into the White House at some point.
    Only we can. Don’t vote for them, no matter how “nice” they seem. Many bad people are nice, but again, they bank on that to give them ultimately what they will take.
    They want Sharia Law here. they have already tried it in Texas and a few other places.
    They are patient in gaining a strong enough foothold here and then BAM!!! Things will change drastically and it will be to late.
    Right now, it is not too late. I truly wish people would wake up to the true evils of the islam ideology and stand up to it.

  • Clancie

    These corrupt media, elite within the media and D.C. were too stupid to understand what he said the first time??? Odd, I knew what he meant when he spoke the words. And I agree with him and the Constitution

  • The Ranger

    No clarification needed it was perfectly clear the first time he’s right. Islam in my opinion is a political movement with warped convictions masquerading as a religion. It is called self deception. 9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,10. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God 11 and such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 6: 9 – 11 (AKJV). You be the judge.

  • Kelpie C

    The same principle applies to every public servant. The Constitution comes first. If religious belief prevents a person from upholding the Constitution and serving the public, they need to resign

    • tinker bell

      So you would be ok with a muslim as president? You do realize that they believe thier religious belief is above our constitution? Do you think we could go set up a christian church in their country? Are you aware there are some countries that wont even let you bring your bible in the country or pray and bless your food in Jesus name? How much of our culture are we willing to sacrifice in order not to offend. They offend me! Take down the 10 commandments, take pledge and prayer out of schools take down the mangers at Christmas. And the latest give us our religious holiday at school and take the day off. Jesus never compromised his belief but he did love the unbeliever.

      • sandra-paquette-

        RIGHT ON – tinker bell – you can’t take a muslim word that he would hold to the Constitution first. Are you kidding me, they can lie, lie lie that is o.k. for them. How anyone in their right mind even think to put a Muslim in WH. George Bush put the Koran in the WH he is out of his mind. That show you how much he understood.